I can't believe its here! My 100th post. When I started this blog, it had taken me close to a year to actually do it. I wasn't convinced I had anything new to offer the world FULL of food bloggers, but I was reminded time and again that I did have something to say, to share and to learn for myself and so I decided to call it Lemon Tart, took some pretty pictures, struggled with creating a custom banner and hit "publish" and put it out there. I've learned quite a bit about food photography and writing and how I like to tell a story and hopefully show you a bit of who I am through food. I've discovered that so many of my fellow bloggers are kind, generous and as excited as I am about the world of food and in this experience I've found my community. I've also learned tremendous respect for those amazing bloggers who've not only been doing this for years, but still manage to post weekly or even daily. I'm still working on that, and I promise those of you who've continued to return to these pages, that the next 100 posts are going to go much faster than the first. I still have so much to share with you!
In the beginning I decided I would do it until it no longer fed me, and that was was my simple goal. Well, its turns out it continues to feed me, and hopefully my readers too, and I can see many more "100" posts to come. Thanks to each of you who have continued to return, thank you for your comments and your interest in what I have to say. While I can say I started this little blog of mine for myself, I continue to do it for you.
So celebrations aside now, I must say its rather shameful of me to call my blog lemon tart with nary a recipe for a lemon tart to be found. If you are a lover of that sweet and tart, soft and crunchy, most classic of all desserts, look no furthur. Today I'm sharing my most trusted lemon tart recipe. It is the first one I ever made, the first dessert that I made money and fans from, and so many lemon tarts later, still the one I consider a benchmark for my idea of the perfect lemon tart. Its also the easiest lemon tart recipe I've come across. This tart is exactly that, almost mouth puckering. All too often lemon tarts are too sweet and lacking in lemon. This recipe has just the right balance and has a secret ingredient - oranges! Yes, I know it seems sacrilegious, but it simply balances all the ingredients and gives a sweetness in place of sugar. You can't detect the orange, but its essential for the roundness of flavours. You'll be amazed!
And I have others I want to share with you: a tart that grinds up the entire fruit for the filling, a deconstructed filling that adds cold butter to an already cooked lemon egg mixture, a whipped version I learned in Nice, and a trusted recipe sent to me from a reader and fellow fan of a beloved cookbook author. There are just so many lemon tart recipes out there so stay tuned for more lemony goodness! My love of the lemon tart does not waver and it goes down as one of my top three favourite desserts.
Lemon Tart's Perfect Lemon Tart
adapted from Chef's Favourite Lemon Tart, from the Magnolia Grill Cookbook
crust adapted from Baking with Dorie, Dorie Greenspan
1 1/4 cups AP flour
1/4 cup ground blanched almonds
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 tsp salt
9 Tbsp butter, cut into 1 cm cubes and very cold
1 egg yolk, stirred with 1 Tbsp ice water, egg white reserved
In a food processor, place flour, almonds, sugar and salt. Blend for about 30 seconds to combine. Scatter in the butter cubes and pulse about 10 times until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of a pea. Pour in the egg yolk mixture and continue to pulse, about 3 seconds per pulse, JUST until the mixture no longer looks dry and small clumps begin to form.
Empty into a 9 inch removable- bottom metal tart pan and begin to press the pastry into the tart shell with your fingers, evenly pressing it up the sides. Be sure to get the edge of your finger into the bottom edge to reduce the extra thickness that tends to accumulate. Set aside a walnut piece of dough for patching, if needed.
You will have more pastry than you need for this size of pan, so remove excess from the edge and either place it in plastic wrap and freeze for future, or in my case I get out my 6 inch tart shell or 4 individual tart shells and fill it to freeze for another time.
Place the 9inch tart shell into the fridge until cold and then freeze for 30 minutes or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F. Bake in the bottom third of the oven for 25 minutes until shell is just kissed with golden brown, but is cooked through on the bottom. During the baking the tart shell with puff up in places. Simply pierce it with a toothpick and it will deflate.
Remove from oven and patch any cracks with bits of the reserved dough, simply mashing it into the hole. Brush bottom and sides of shell with reserved egg white while still hot. Set aside until filling is made.
Set oven to 350F.
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
1 cup + 3 Tbsp sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup cream
Gently pour the filling into the tart shell. You can fill it part way, slide in into the oven and then pour the rest of the filling once its on the rack. Or do as I do and fill' er up and then very gingerly place the tart shell into the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, checking at 20 minutes and then frequently after that. You do not want overcook this beauty. When you touch the pan, the filling should just barely quiver, like pannacotta. It shouldn't be liquidy, but should look like its not quite done.Remove to a cooking rack and leave to cool to room temperature. Place the tart shell on a overturned bowl and gently slip the tart ring down. Transfer the tart shell to a serving plate.
The acid in this tart makes it perfectly safe to keep at room temperature for a day, but I think it tastes best a little cold and slices easiest that way too. This will keep nicely for 2-3 days. Serve it as is or with a simple raspberry coulis or fresh berries on the plate. A glass of Limoncello wouldn't hurt either!
Sneaking a sliver from the fridge, first thing in the morning - Nigella- style- is a must!
Other Lemon Tarts: